OK, I've gone through three Creative 52X CD-ROM drives in a few weeks. After a few days of use, they begin reving up fast and loud, then stopping with a click, and refusing to read properly. Eventually, they just go to crap. Luckily, they're still under warranty.
The problem SEEMS to begin when I use a certain burned copy of an old game. My friend suggested to me that if the CD-R was burned poorly, or the disk was defective, it might cause my CD-Rom drive to vibrate or something, throwing it out of whack. Is this possible?
I had the same problem with a HP USB writer. And to top it off, it smoked (made a bubble in) one of my cdrw's. I had to unplug it, and use a paperclip to eject the disk. Smelled like teen spirit too.
Grind them under until the warranty expires or creative sends an assassin.
I think I might have figured it out. The CD-R that seems to fry the drives is the one that was in the drive when my first one went bad. I think the first drive that went bad did so of it's own accord, and it got really hot when it burnt out, which COULD have warped or damaged the CD-R. Now I think that damaged CD-R is screwing up my new drives. That'll teach me to play a burned game, I suppose.